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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:38 pm
Posts: 48
I took the plunge and invested in some tubular wheels about a year ago. 50mm Gigantex rims built by WheelSmith.co.uk (great service) on Chris King R45 hubs. Read-up here on how to glue tubulars and all went well on that front, using Veloflex Arenberg 25mm tubs.

First time I raced on them, punctured after 5mins. Have only used them another couple of times since then on the road bike, usually use them on the TT bike. Decided to race on them today and punctured after 5mins. Tried Vittoria Pit Stop and it didn't work, hole was about 2-3mm. Left me stranded in the race as for the first time ever, I didn't bring a pre-glued spare. Changing a clincher takes me less than 5mins in total and I always ride GP4000S II tyres which I find superb. Have done countless races over the past few years and zero punctures, only 1 puncture in 3 years in total when not on the tubs. I know I could get other tubular tyres for the wheels that might be better catered for the poor Irish roads I race on, but at this point I just always have the fear that a puncture is imminent and the whole thing is more hassle to me than it's worth and I'm severely time crunched so can't the messing around involved.

So I know there's a million threads on what clinchers to race on, but I'm trying to figure out where to start my selection process, so any suggestions or recommendations are much appreciated. I have DuraAce C24 wheels which I absolutely love and are my go-to wheel. I use them for any race in which there are big hills and just love the smoothness of the hubs. But I want a set of more aero wheels for flatter races and, to be honest, to make my bike look badass (only con with the C24s is they don't look great). Bike is a Cannondale Supersix Evo Hi Mod with matt black/red/grey paint. Open to advice on whether 35mm, 50mm, or something else is best. I'm 90kg so needs to be sturdy. Are carbon clinchers now at a point where they're sufficiently robust and have good braking surfaces?

I do struggle with the idea of spending the huge money Zipps or Enves involve mostly as I'm not sure I can justify it (and also due to risk of damage in a crash), but would consider it if they are clearly the most compelling option and a long-term investment. Zipp 303s, C35s, Bora One 35, Enve 3.4 are all names I've seen positive mentions of. It's a bit of a minefield of information about wheels out there so any pointers are much appreciated....and yes, this post is borne out of the frustration of having driven a 4-hour round-trip today for a total of 5 minutes of action!


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Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:56 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:31 am
Posts: 77
Location: Brighton, UK
If you've already got CK hubs, why don't you just get them built up on to carbon clincher rims? Would save buying an entirely new wheel set following your run of bad luck. And it is bad luck - I too run Arenbergs and have p********d twice in a year.

Just replace the one with the 2/3mm hole/tear in it, load them up with a bit of sealant and carry on.

Failing that - Michelin Pro Race tyres are nice & fast clinchers, especially in a 23mm.


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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Thanks. Not too many options for wheel building here in Ireland (or ones that would do this that I'm aware of at least), so I'd imagine I'd end up having to send them away, so I was ruling it out without thinking about it I guess. If there's viable options out there in Europe and it could be done within a couple of weeks, I'd consider it for sure, thanks for the suggestion.

Had a quick look at the Wheel Smith and they have these interesting Dimpled 45mm for 1,348 GBP (1,896 EUR) with Chris King hubs and make some bold claims about them: http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/dimpled-45m ... 0-clincher. They also have these Aero 38 Clinchers for 1,100 GBP (1,547 EUR): http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/aero-38-clincher

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers are here for 2,134 Euro (http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;n ... duct=83579). Are these the latest and best 303 model (confused by seeing Firecrest and Firestrike mentioned, 2015 vs older models)?

Think I'll probably go ahead and try sell my current tubulars - with Chris King hubs with very little use, hopefully I get something decent for them to offset the investment. Exchange rate means the Wheel Smith options aren't hugely less than the Zipps from Germany. So it may boil down to just how good are the Zipp 303s (they do look excellent to me) and can I bring myself to splash out on them?


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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:31 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Veloflex Extreme or Masters - Extreme is just a coloured side wall version of the gum wall Masters. But just reading your post you're talking about which wheels/rims other than tires. Sorry! Enves are my call on this

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
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Location: San Diego Ca USA
Sounds like a tire issue not a wheel issue

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:38 pm
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KarlC wrote:
Sounds like a tire issue not a wheel issue


It may well be, but it has resulted in me not trusting tubulars. The roads I race on are really terrible and I guess my puncture-free record even with clinchers is quite lucky. However, rather than try out other tubulars and potentially find after a few more punctures which ones are up to the task, I'm done with them as I just don't want the hassle and having it in my mind I'm likely to puncture at any time and when I do, it's a much bigger inconvenience than with a clincher. With travel, there's only a few more races left for me in my season and I just don't want to take the chance with tubulars again, I'll either race on my C24s or new carbon clinchers.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:10 am
Posts: 381
So you build up some nice tubular wheels and glue on some of the most flat prone tires on the market and you are surprised that you get flats. I am not sure that we can help you.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 2:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Try some Conti Force/Attack tubulars. I put half a bottle of Stans sealant in each tubular to aid in puncture resistance, and general run them till the tread is totally worn before replacing.
I use Conti GP4000s or Botrager R3 clinchers and run 23front / 25 rear which gives good ride quality. Very few punctures and good grip,wet or dry.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:38 pm
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sedluk wrote:
So you build up some nice tubular wheels and glue on some of the most flat prone tires on the market and you are surprised that you get flats. I am not sure that we can help you.

In fairness, I chose the Veloflex Arenbergs after extensive research on here and elsewhere at the time, which indicated they rolled well and had strong puncture resistance. It may well be that the roads I'm racing on in Ireland are very poor condition and with more glass/debris than others on here are used to in Australia, US etc.

And fair enough, that was a bit of a rant yesterday, but my head was melted after being let down by the Veloflex tyres after such a long journey. Plus, I do have this voice in the back of the head looking for any excuse to splash out on some Zipps! I love the look of my bike with the 50mm carbon rims on it, but am disappointed with it when the C24s are on it. And as I've so little faith in the tubulars, the C24s are on it 90% of the time.

But yeh, the head this morning is more open to reassessing if other tubular tyres can give me a good combination of low rolling resistance and good puncture protection.

What size are the Continental options mentioned by ozrider? I'd like to stay with 25mm tubs as they did give nice ride quality. I trust the Continental GP4000s II puncture protection very much, so if the tubular option is good, I'd be willing to put my faith in it. What would be the reason for choosing GP4000s vs Force vs Attack?

Think I recalled at the time that Continental tubulars were quite hard to get onto the rim, does that sound right and are there any tips for getting them on smoothly? Has been over a year since I glued a tub, so any refreshers on the process are much appreciated. Remove current tub, sand off any lumps in glue on the rim, only use glue remover if there's major lumps, put one layer of glue on rim, one on tyre, leave overnight, put another layer of glue on the tyre, then apply - does that sound about right? Thanks for the help, this frustrated rider just wants to get back racing on tyres I can trust with the minimal of delays and hassle, so the advice is much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
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Location: it's raining, it must be uk
compared to conti competition/gp4000s the veloflex are far less puncture resistant - i'd give the conti's a try before giving up on the wheels, for 25mm it'd be the competitions

i've not used force/attack tubs, but the clinchers are more puncture prone than gp4000s, less rubber

btw i've found tufo extreme sealant far more effective than pitstop


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:26 am
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Location: USA
With the Conti's, just make sure you pre-stretch them and you should be good to go.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:56 pm
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I live in the UK and the roads ain't great here. Give the Conti's a try. They aren't as smooth riding as Vittoria or Veloflex but are more robust. Definitely pre stretch. I wouldn't put a sealant in the tube, just carry a can in your jersey in case you puncture, but hopefully you'll not need it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:38 pm
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Thanks folks. In terms of priorities, puncture resistance is a higher priority than pure performance as I need to have tyres I have trust in so I'd accept a slight performance hit for good puncture resistance. I do love the GP4000S II clinchers so would definitely go for them if they had a 25mm tub. They are listed as 22mm, so I guess they wouldn't be an option for my 25mm wide Gigantex rims (asking just in case anyone has tried it)?

So that would seem to leave me with the Continental Competition 25mm tubs, which seem to get good reviews on Wiggle and seem to give a good trade-off of puncture protection with reasonable performance. I'll go ahead and order these shortly unless anyone has any suggestions of a better option to go for?

Thanks for the tip on Tufo Extreme Sealant, I had thought this had to be put in ahead of time which I didn't like the sound of. Will get some of it now and have in the jersey pocket if it's needed. Given the rims are 50mm, I'll likely need valve extenders. Can't recall, do you remove the valve core before adding the extender to the tyre? If so, when I puncture I just need to remove the valve core from the extender, could imagine it'd be a problem if the valve core was left on the tyre valve. May well be a stupid question, but just want to be sure so I get it right and that I can order specific valve extenders if needed.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:56 pm
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I use Vittoria Pitstop, it seals and inflates. Never used Tufo so I can't comment. For pre stretching if you use tubs regularly buy a cheap tubular rim and use it solely for stretching. Just makes life easier. If you run extenders the core is removed, then screw on the extender then replace the core. You can buy tire levers that have the correct flats moulded in.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:22 pm 
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Location: Islip, NY
I have to say that after having carbon clinchers, carbon tubulars, alloy clinchers, alloy tubulars that the carbon clinchers made the least sense.

If you already have to deal with clincher technology carbon rims are in the alloy weight class. That means carbon clinchers are no lighter and are also limited by the downsides (I won't use them for extremely mountainous terrain and wet braking performance is worse than alloy). The gains of aerodynamics are always compared to Ksyriums or 32 box section wheels when the truth is, a set of low spoke count alloy wheels with Hed, Pacenti SL23 or H+Son Archetypes bridge that gap quite well. Pair a set of wider rims with 23mm tires and you have a fast setup.

I know you said that local wheel builders are hard to come by, but there are UK builders on this site. If that's not convenient enough get a set of Hed Ardennes.

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Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:22 pm 


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